Masculinity in American Society and Hip-Hop

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Masculinity in American Society and Hip-Hop

Never cry or show any emotion, when things happen take it like man, do not get mad, get even. These along with many other rules are makeup “the Guy Code” believed to shape what masculinity in American society. “’Bros before Hoes’: The Guy Code” by Michael Kimmel discusses a set of epigrams and analyzes American masculinity. These ideals of what is takes to be a “man” are often portrayed by hip-hop artists in today’s mainstream music industry.

Kimmel attended many different workshops and high school assemblies asking young men in every state “What does it take to be a man?” and generated what he calls the “Real Guy’s Top Ten List.” The answers were predictable. Never show any emotion and remain as though everything is in control at all times, losing is not an option when you’re in competition with other men, and kindness will get you nowhere. Real Boys a book by psychologist William Pollack covers these same ideas. To be a man they cannot be a sissy, or appear to be weak or gay. Masculinity is measured by your wealth, power, and status. A man remains a “rock” and he is dependable during crisis. Give the impression that you are daring and aggressive. In Hip-Hop, the lyrics and the rappers usually echo these ideals. Masculinity is money, power, and respect. Most rappers give off an image of being “strong” and never showing emotion. Guns and violence is the way to show other men that you are a man that you are powerful and are to be respected. Rappers boast about their jewelry, their homes, and nice cars and believe that having more money and material objects, and women, than the next man makes you a winner. These ideas are found in the lyrics of rappers such as Lil’ Wayne and 50 Cent, who are the ideal stereotypical image of masculinity in Hip-Hop.

Boys are taught to be a man from birth and many of the ideas of masculinity are instilled in them by their fathers or other male figures in their lives. According to...
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